Multiple Wives: A Divine Right?

When I turned 14 years old, I started working summers with my dad. He delivered bags of ice to the beach out of an 18-wheeler and, as it was with the Army, he spent a lot of time away from home. Because the days were long, I usually made a killing taking this ice to all the vacationers at the beach. We delivered mostly to grocery stores and gas stations so we constantly bumped into customers as we unloaded the climate-controlled trailer. One joke we constantly heard:

“Man, you have the coolest job in the world!”

Yeah, that was catchy…for the first week. Like all jokes told ad infinitum, it got old quick.

The same thing happened this month. When folks learn I’m exploring the Latter-day Saints, I am invariably asked, “So, you gonna pick up a few extra wives?”

At first, I would brush off the joke with a chuckle, but eventually–as happened with the ice jokes–I wanted to strangle the messenger. At one point, I considered replying with: “Yeah, how about I borrow yours for 31 days?”

So here I am, taking offense about a stereotype and I’m only an honorary member of the church. See what Project Conversion does? It makes you part of the tribe, and once you’re part of the tribe, you start looking at things in a whole new way.

Anyway, the jokes got the gears turning about this rumored polygamy thing. Was it really part of LDS culture, or just something hanging on the fringe of the church? More importantly, is this practice condoned scripturally?

The answer is: yes, and all over the place.

Genesis 16: 2-3 says,

2And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. 3And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.

The implied purpose in the giving of a Hagar was to produce offspring. Remember, Abram (he wasn’t known as Abraham yet) was promised to become the “father of many nations.” Can’t do that with just one or two kids.

We see plural marriages and the use of concubines all through the Old Testament (or Tanakh for our Jewish friends), especially with kings and patriarchs like David, Solomon, and Abraham. Conservative theologians maintain that Jesus played hard-to-get and went lone wolf during his life. Turned out, he had more important things to do…

Next, we look at specific LDS scripture, namely The Doctrine and Covenants. The D & C is scripture written by the prophet Joseph Smith as well as a few other church presidents and contains revealed wisdom, guidance, and information for the church–usually as Joseph Smith and others asked for it from God. Section 132: 59-66 specifically addresses the issue of polygamy,

61 And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood–if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else. 62 And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified. 63But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified.

Why would Joseph Smith need revelation for more wives? The man was in the middle of building a religious movement. Did he really need the added pressure of a growing household? One theory I’ve heard is that Joseph’s wife caught him in bed with another woman. Subsequently, the Lord “revealed” the aforementioned scripture in order to justify his actions. On the other hand, we must remember that LDS members believe that each of us are spirit children, born of God, who planned for us to inhabit the earth that we might gain experience. In this context, Joseph Smith and other early church leaders/members seemed interested in expediting that plan. With such revelation in hand, they were cooking with grease.

The practice of polygamy continued through several leaders in the church until the United States government turned up the legislative heat on the matter in the 1862. By the 1880′s, the added pressure against polygamy had many LDS men on the run. Increasing turmoil in the church led then LDS president and prophet, Wilford Woodruff, to seek guidance from the Lord. Apparently, the Lord said enough is enough.

In 1889, church president Woodruff made an official declaration of the church called the Manifesto,” in order to abolish the practice of polygamy,

Inasmuch as laws have been enacted by Congress forbidding plural marriages, which laws have been pronounced constitutional by the court of last resort, I hereby declare my intention to submit to those laws, and to use my influence with the members of the Church over which I preside to have them do likewise. There is nothing in my teachings to the Church or in those of my associates, during the time specified, which can be reasonably construed to inculcate or encourage polygamy; and when any Elder of the Church has used language which appeared to convey any such teaching, he has been promptly reproved. And I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land.

The die was cast and the mainstream LDS church officially stands against polygamy to this day, going so far as stating on the LDS.org site: “Groups who teach polygamy today are not part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

 

Seems the death of polygamy in the LDS church is certain. But reality is never so cut and dry. The church still deals with the residue of their past to this day in the form of jokes, ridicule, ignorance, and even entertainment. Shows like Sister Wives and Big Love open the fresh wound of the polygamy issue on a daily basis. Interestingly enough, the cast of Sister Wives is even filing suit to legalize ”cohabitation and bigamy.”

Should be an interesting case.

The lesson here is to ask ourselves how we look at scripture in modern times. Polygamy was clearly given the green light during Joseph Smith’s time and those of the Bible, so if God and his wisdom is a universal constant, why change? Had the United States not issued laws against polygamy, would then church president Woodruff still issue the Manifesto against polygamy? Were his instructions divinely inspired, or reactionary? I don’t know, but cases such as these help us realize the more controversial side of all our scriptures…some that we tend to tuck under the rug as if to hide from view.

Does society change because of divine wisdom, or does divine wisdom adapt to changes in society?

For more information on the church’s position regarding polygamy, visit the LDS website.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Candace-Moore-Hill/736896802 Candace Moore Hill

    These no reason why not to talk about polygamy in religious context throughout many world cultures.  In most places/times it has much more to do with wealth, power, and making sure that every woman has the status of a wife, instead of a extra female around the margins who is little more than a slave.

    A wife has a husband, home, place in the community and her children are part of a family.  One of the reasons that Islam permits more than one wife per family is so that a wealthy man can absorb more women into the family group.  When the family is the strongest social construct in the culture, it is even more important that every person have one.  The only thing worse than being the third or fourth wife, is to not have the opportunity of marriage and children at all.

    You might be interested in one of the Baha’i teachings about this.  There was a concern about teaching the Faith in Africa, where a family interested in the Faith would already be constructed of a husband, several wives and children.  The decision was that if this family declared, then no divorce would be required, only that no other marriages could take place.  That is, it is the family that is the most important.

    • Anonymous

      It is so easy to forget the culture, time, and place in which some of
      these practices arise. We often overlook the fact that a majority of women
      up until a generation or two ago were almost completely reliant on
      husbands to support them. In a time of war, for example, when men were
      wiped out by the thousands, there is suddenly a gulf between the number of
      available men and women of marrying age. Who would support these women if
      one man could match only one woman? Thus, multiple wives becomes the norm.

      In this day and age however, such practices (in many parts of the world)
      are useless. That’s what makes issues like the Sister Wives case so
      interesting.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=4802029 Shawn Knight

      A similar practice exists in Catholicism: When a _married_ man who is already an ordained priest from another Christian sect (usually Anglicanism/Episcopalianism) converts to Catholicism, the requirement of priestly celibacy is waived in his case: he is permitted to remain married to his wife (and to perform his “conjugal duties”).  The existing family is permitted to endure without the man giving up his priesthood.

      (The cynic in me suspects they’d be a lot less charitable about such things if priestly vocations weren’t in such short supply nowadays, but hey.)

  • Lauren Elizabeth

    As I understand it, there is more than one branch of the LDS church. On sister wives, they stated clearly in the first episode that they were not mainstream LDS but that they belonged to a branch that still teaches polygamy. But I guess its all about who you ask, bc it sounds like the mainstream LDS church would not claim any branch that still teaches this. On another note, its really not fair to give LDS members so much crap about polygamy bc every religious group has – at some point – made a statement that is supposed to be from God and then retracted it later. So whether or not polygamy was truly a command from God should really have no bearing on whether or not the LDS faith is true. Religion comes down from God to man and man always finds a way to mess it up lol. We should show the same grace to the LDS community that we would want shown to our own religious or non-religious communities. In my humble opinion, of course :)

    • Anonymous

      Ah Lauren, you are truly one with Project Conversion philosophy. My point
      exactly, and thank you.

    • David

      Wikipedia has a great diagram detailing the relationship between all the branches: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LDS_movement#Denominations

      It’s pretty complicated. According to the entry, 98% (14 million) of the “Latter Day Saint movement” is contained in the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • Jonnamorrison

    I visited Utah back in HS…and we got to “tour” the Mormon Tabernacle (amongst other things)…One of the things that was mentioned about polygamy being practiced “way back when” was the concept of survival…women sought a man to be her provider; and so, it was “common” or “necessary” (perhaps) for many women to be the wives of one man. 

  • Art Sherwood

    One interesting fact to note is that the Book of Mormon itself teaches very strongly against the practice of polygamy (with one important caveat) in Jacob 2.  http://lds.org/scriptures/bofm/jacob/2?lang=eng

    Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none;
    For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.
    Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes.
    For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.
    The Lord makes it very clear in this scripture that taking multiple wives is an abomination to him *unless* the Lord himself has commanded it.  It is my understanding that most of the early church leaders and members who received this command were very, very reluctant to receive it but it was, nonetheless, received as a commandment from God.  Not as a license for promiscuity, but as a solemn duty to obey the voice of the Lord.  We may spend the rest of our days trying to understand the reasons and justifications behind the commandment but in the end, it would all just be a bunch of guesses.  The Lord never revealed the “why”.  And, frankly, He doesn’t have to.  If the Lord commanded the practice, then it was justified and we needn’t worry about it.

    It all really comes back to whether or not we believe Joseph Smith was a true prophet.  If you accept Joseph as a true prophet, then you can be assured that the commandment regarding plural marriage was given by God and that the practice was justified (whether or not you understand the reasons behind it).

    If one doesn’t accept Joseph as a prophet of God, then you can attribute whatever motive you want to this practice.  Just be very careful when viewing and judging a 19th century practice through 21st century goggles.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for posting that. I’m privy to the verse, however seem to have neglected it in exchange for the Manifesto.

    • MAC

      I don’t necessarily agree with this statement. The fact that he was a prophet does not make him above being a man. As a prophet, he is called to be a revelator, but as a Man he has the right to make mistakes (I’m thinking of the 116 pages of BOM translation that got lost). This is the same for any man called to be the prophet since Joseph Smith. While they may be the prophet, they are still men. As men, they will make mistakes. Just because the prophet says it does not make it prophecy.

      • Anonymous

        I agree.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=4802029 Shawn Knight

        Jesus himself was both god and man in the eyes of most Christians, and an important part of his sacrifice is that he _could_ have chosen not to go through with it.  (See Gethsemane; the entire moral force of that scene is that he really, really, does not want to die, but does submit to the Father’s will and does so.)

        The (non-Mormon) Bible has other incidents of prophets and patriarchs committing sins: Lot’s infamous relations with his daughters, and Moses disobeying God about bringing water from the stone (for which his punishment is die before crossing the Jordan into the promised land).

        • Micstew

          The “(non-Mormon) Bible”?  I’m Mormon, and the Bible I read, also known as the King James Version of the Holy Bible, has these incidents that you mentioned about prophets and patriarchs committing sins.

          This reference to “non-Mormon Bible” leads me to believe that you think (or would like other people to think) that the Book of Mormon is the Bible in the eyes of the LDS people.  For anyone who may be casually scrolling through this and misunderstand you in any way… I’d like to clarify.  Mormons believe in, study, use, read, quote, and live by the precepts of the King James Version of the Holy Bible. We also believe in, study, use, read, quote, and live by the precepts of other Testaments of Jesus Christ and his ministry throughout the rest of the world, namely the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. 

      • Julie

        I don’t believe the idea is that a prophet cannot make mistakes. Of course, prophets are human and can/will make mistakes (such as the 116 pages mentioned). However, I do believe that when a prophet acts in his capacity as the prophet and mouthpiece for God, what he reveals in God’s name is, in fact God’s will. God will not permit His prophet to incorrectly represent Him.

        • Anonymous

          This is what attracted/endeared me to the Jewish tradition so much. Every character in the Scriptures was an unfiltered representation of human yerning for the divine. Every screw-up, from David to Adam to Job, present the human capacity to reach God with dirty, bloody, scarred, and reverent fingers.

  • http://bit.ly/ldsarc Mike Parker

    Plural marriage is, hands down, the most complex and challenging part of Mormon history. So many people — Mormons and non-Mormons — want to simplify it and make it easily understandable in a modern world that is very distant from the practice. They do so by inventing myths to make it easy to explain (e.g., “Joseph Smith had an enormous libido”, “there were more Mormon women than men”). Unfortunately these myths are untrue and perpetuate stereotypes of early Mormons.

    Many of these myths are debunked here: http://en.fairmormon.org/Polygamy

    The ironic thing is that, while Mormon polygamy ran face-first into American politics (Abraham Lincoln grouped it with slavery as “the twin relics of barbarism”) and Victorian-era social mores, in the last 40 years American society has become widely accepting of diverse forms of intimacy (including non-marital cohabitation and gay relationships). If Mormon plural marriage were revealed for the first time today, I suspect it would receive far less resistence than it did in the 1800s.

    • Anonymous

      Good point. That’s why cases such as the Sister Wives suit will be an interesting event.

    • http://twitter.com/digitalflaneur7 digital flaneur

      I’ve thought about that too. In some ways, Mormons have been prey to the same sort of attitudes that condemn gay marriage – namely, a misguided notion that “traditional marriage” has always been a very specific thing (monogamous and heterosexual). A brief jaunt through the history of marriage will dispense you of that notion! Heck, a brief jaunt through the Bible will, as Andrew has intimated. 

  • Anonymous

    Is that a little like saying it’s wrong to kill unless God tells you to?

    • Brooke

      Kind of… I mean, there is an example of that in the BoM: God commanded Nephi to kill Laben because
      ‘It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief,’ 1 Ne. 4:13, (Disclaimer: This was a direct commandment, not Nephi’s desire. Nephi expressed his reservations about killing, and only ended up carrying it out because he was commanded to do so. It is rare in scripture that God asks someone to end another human life. I don’t condone killing in general. :) )

      RE: Polygamy – Many of us (by “us” I mean humanity) struggle with commandments big or small. Look at the 10 basic ones. How many of us struggle with “honor thy father and thy mother” or “thou shalt not bear false witness”? Sometimes commandments are a struggle because they go against our natural human tendencies. Sometimes they are a struggle because we simply don’t understand why we would be instructed to follow them.

      As a parent, I sometimes find myself telling my son “because I said so.”
      I have my reasons for giving him “commandments” but don’t always
      elaborate on why. I feel that commandments from God are much the same. If He instructs us to do something, as His children — children who love Him and want to do
      what He asks — we will do what He asks “because He said so” even if we don’t/can’t comprehend the reason.
      Obedience requires faith and refining ourselves (striving toward perfection) requires obedience.

    • Blackbird

      In a nutshell, yes.

      Like every other Christian religion (and perhaps some non-Christian ones), LDS believe that certain things are only alright when God says they are.

    • David

      Yes, that’s exactly what it’s like.

      God is the only Individual who can rightfully decide when someone leaves this life, as well as when someone is brought into it. This is why “Thou shalt not kill” and “Thou shalt not commit adultery” are so serious. This is why polygamy in the LDS Church, contrary to popular/prurient belief, was never a free-for-all.

      If God commands Jacob/Israel or Joseph Smith or Abraham to have multiple wives, then it’s OK. If God commands Nephi to kill Laban (see 1 Nephi 4:13) or or Abraham to kill his own son (see Genesis 22:2) or Saul to utterly destroy the Amalekites (see 1 Samuel 15:18), then it is absolutely not wrong to kill in those cases.

      • Anonymous

        I think you are right. And as such, because God does have this power, if he ever clearly determined that someone should die and that I should murder them, I might ask God “If you are so powerful and this person must clearly die, why not take him yourself? Must I be brought to murder? Are you (God) not strong enough or willing to perform your own commandment?”

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=4802029 Shawn Knight

          Yeah.  A whole lot of human suffering has been perpetrated in the name of God.  I suspect history would have gone very differently if God’s followers had consistently trusted Him to do the killing.

          • David

            Actually, killing “in the name of God” is still simply killing. There is a difference between killing “in the name of God” and killing “at God’s clear and specific direction”. The former is the real cause of the problems you are speaking of, while the latter is not. People who use God as their excuse to kill based on their own personal or national motives are *not* true followers of God.

            If God actually did command a group of people to kill another group of people, as we do read about in the Bible, one must assume that God had a pretty good reason. He gave such a reason in the Book of Mormon, when Nephi was teaching his brothers about Moses leading the Children of Israel:

            32 And after they had crossed the river Jordan he did make them mighty unto the driving out of the children of the land, yea, unto the scattering them to destruction.

            33 And now, do ye suppose that the children of this land, who were in the land of promise, who were driven out by our fathers, do ye suppose that they were righteous? Behold, I say unto you, Nay.

            34 Do ye suppose that our fathers would have been more choice than they if they had been righteous? I say unto you, Nay.

            35 Behold, the Lord esteemeth all flesh in one; he that is righteous is favored of God. But behold, this people had rejected every word of God, and they were ripe in iniquity; and the fulness of the wrath of God was upon them; and the Lord did curse the land against them, and bless it unto our fathers; yea, he did curse it against them unto their destruction, and he did bless it unto our fathers unto their obtaining power over it.

            (1 Nephi 17:33-35 http://lds.org/scriptures/bofm/1-ne/17.33-35?lang=eng#32 )

            Through His prophet Moses, God commanded His people to kill another group of people. Why? Because they “had rejected every word of God, and they were ripe in iniquity”. One doesn’t have to watch TV for too long to learn that God allows quite a wide range of wickedness to go on with no apparent response from Him. What does it take, then, for a people to be “ripe in iniquity”? I think probably that the people in the next valley over, walking distance away, were happy to rape the wives and daughters of the Isrealites, sacrifice the Isrealite children to idols, go to war at any time, and raise their own children to do the same. There was no rule of law, no way to reason or come to any understanding, not even a UN peacekeeping force to provide some kind of buffer. The only way the Israelites could survive was to destroy them, and they did so in the strength of the Lord.

            When people have taken that further and presume to “read the Lord’s mind” and kill whomever *they* please, then once again, they are the ones who are *not* the followers of God.

            A whole lot of human suffering has been perpetrated by people making their *own* decisions. God is not to blame, unless you want to blame God for allowing us to make our own decisions and live with the consequences. Whatever reason or excuse one might give, each person will ultimately be held responsible for their actions.

            History would have gone differently if a few more people actually were “God’s followers”.

        • David

          In the two cases I mentioned that involved individuals being commanded by God to kill, both Abraham and Nephi were sorely troubled. I think it’s clear in both cases that it was a very extreme test. Abraham was let off the hook at the last moment, but Nephi was not.

          Certainly God could have ended Laban’s life without Nephi’s intervention, and Nephi did ask those very same questions that you did ( http://lds.org/scriptures/bofm/1-ne/4.10?lang=eng#9 ). (You and Nephi probably have a lot in common; much of 1 Nephi is about Nephi’s own struggle to find God’s path for him.) Conversely, God could also prevent all disease, suffering, poverty, and death. But, He commanded Nephi to be involved here, just as He more generally commands us to be involved in the more clearly positive aspects such as the relief of poverty and suffering. God is not going to do for us things that we are able to do for ourselves. It’s not that God *can’t*, it’s that he *won’t*, out of respect for and commitment to His own plan for our eternal growth and salvation. He will not take away our agency, our ability to choose for ourselves what we will do.

          In an infinitely more limited way, I struggle every day with raising my four-year-old and where to draw the line between helping him and allowing him to learn and grow on his own. He simply doesn’t understand why I can’t carry him wherever we go, and we basically ask God the same question. Why can’t He carry us through everything? Why can’t He do all the hard stuff? I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for God to look down on humanity and what we’re doing to each other and yet stand aside and allow us to reap our own consequences.

          If you continue your study of the Book of Mormon, you will learn that Nephi ultimately had to defend his people, the God-following portion of his family, in actual and ongoing battle against his own wicked brothers and their followers. They really did want to kill him and all of his people. Perhaps in order to be able to deal with such a distressing situation, he needed to learn very clearly that deadly force is sometimes justified and even necessary, even for a God-fearing pacifist like him.

          • Anonymous

            Nephi certainly had a hard time, and Abraham’s “Just kidding!” moment was tough as well. I imagine it’s just as hard to DO God’s will as it is to determine WHAT God’s will is. I maintain that he needs to use an email notification system…

  • Anonymous

    Nah, I like to cover as much ground as possible. The third week always makes room for that. Project Conversion is about looking before we leap to conclusions.

    • http://b.rox.com/ Editor B

      In that case, I’d suggest a look at the Adam-God doctrine. Though I suspect you aren’t wanting for topics. Kolob is also interesting, but maybe that’s just me.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks B! I’ll see what I can do…

  • Anonymous

    Well, if I ever find myself in Fort Collins… ; )

    • Brooke

      There will be a temple in Indianapolis completed in the next few years. They always do an open house for a few weeks before it’s dedicated. We’re a lot closer to you than Ft. Collins. ;)

  • Anonymous

    I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this topic, Tina. I admit, the subject caused some discomfort for me–most issues during the third week of each month do, but it is only fair to present them in a balanced manner. If you can give me a religion where there is some doctrine, ritual, practice, or belief that does not offend on some level, please let me know. This is, of course, about honest exploration of religion, light and dark sides.

    By the way, see some of the comments below regarding the anti-polygamy attitude of God in the Book of Mormon.

    • Tina

      Andrew, I do appreciate that you are trying to present various religions in a “balanced manner”. I sincerely mean that. But when a religion espouses an idea that is against basic human dignity and rights, I don’t feel compelled to treat the idea in a balanced way. That’s part of what apologetics is all about——trying to explain and make sense of the injustice and violence that is prevalent within their sacred texts. The D&C passage you quoted did state that an unfaithful wife should be destroyed. Why should such a view be held in any way as sacred? Religoins should not get a pass for espousing barbaric ideas just because it is part of their sacred text.

      • Anonymous

        That’s the wonderful thing about Project Conversion, Tina. I HAVE to present the religions as objectively as possible. You, the Congregation, are free to express your opinions/objections/praises as you will (without being rude or malice, of course). As you’ve seen here, I don’t need to defend or rationalize any belief or issue I raise; the faithful are always ready to defend their own religion.

  • Guest

    Tina, was it not perfectly clear that it is so that the Lord’s commandment to multiply and replenish the earth could be carried out?  A woman with multiple husbands does not have any more children than a woman with one.  You seem to think it is about lust and sex for some reason?  I know a number of polygamist men and women and I can tell you that it sure isn’t about that.

  • Brooke

    Tina, as Andrew mentioned, polygamy is shown to be practiced throughout the Bible, so it isn’t just Mormon theology that suddenly implemented this radical idea. And polygamy, (1 man, multiple women) in my opinion, is just darn hard to wrap your mind around.

    If you look at the practice of polygamy from a “populate the earth” standpoint, it only stands to reason that one man could accomplish that with multiple women much faster than one woman could accomplish it with multiple men. I think the problem with the concept of polygamy is that many people look at those who practice(d) it with the idea that they only want(ed) to have wild orgy sex instead of looking at it from a completely logistical “up the population” standpoint.

    And re: the woman being destroyed part: Many times throughout scripture it is said that those who practice adultery (or other sexual no-no’s) will be destroyed (or some variation of that term). I don’t think in this context it means destroyed as in taken into the streets and stoned. My interpretation is that the woman’s morality or chastity is destroyed. Or perhaps that her chances of “going to heaven” are destroyed (if she doesn’t repent). God is infinitely moral and chaste and requires his children to be as well. I know it seems contradictory to say that polygamy could fall under a moral/chaste practice in a prominently monogamous society, but if the marriage is ordained of God, monogamous or polygamous, then it is moral and chaste.

    (As a side-note: If
    polygamy were reinstated today, I would have a very hard time
    participating, and I’ve been a member of the LDS church my entire life. I
    wouldn’t want to share my husband with another woman, jealousy would be a
    major issue, and I wouldn’t want to be associated with the polygamist
    stigma. But that shows that my reservations about it are a product of
    selfishness coupled with society’s standards and views on the topic.)

  • Blackbird

    Hi Tina,

    I’m sorry that this passage in the D&C has caused such anger, but if it’s alright, I’d like to address some of your concerns, from an LDS woman’s point of view.

    You asked why women aren’t allowed to have multiple husbands.  The simple answer is because polygamy is only ever commanded for the purpose of ‘raising seed’ (or having children) and polyandry wouldn’t serve that function. 

    The complex answer is that in the history of the church, there were examples of women being married to more than one man at a time (though it’s too indepth of a subject to deal with here) and in the LDS church today, if a woman had more than one husband during her lifetime, she can be sealed (or married) to all of them under certain circumstances.  It’s not as black and white as it may at first appear.

    Concerning unfaithful wives-unfaithful men are subject to the same punishments that unfaithful women are in the church and, we believe, in the eternities, if they don’t repent.

    Lastly, you asked, how any revelation could be credible when it is subject to the law of the land.  It’s important to understand that LDS believe that God has commanded us to obey the laws of the land-it is one of our ‘articles of faith’ and it declares that we believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.  

    • Colin Faux

      Don’t get me wrong Blackbird, I appreciate your faithful response.  There is research however that shows polygamy does not raise seed any quicker than regular monogamy or other sexual practice.  Unless however, the raising of seed means in some way loyalty to the program.  Because as we can still observe today, those who raise seed in polygamy remain loyal to the program.

      • Blackbird

        Hi Colin,

        From all the research i have read on polygamy and childbirth rates, the results seem to be inconclusive, especially considering that all the studies i’ve seen done are geared toward polygamy in our era, which is a horse of a different color compared to polygamy in earlier times.

        I think you have a good point though in that it’s not just about raising seed, but raising seed ‘to the Lord’.  The 12 tribes of Israel-God’s chosen people according to the bible-were a product of polygamy.  It wasn’t just the number that was important, but the lineage was important as well.  Those 12 children needed to be born to Jacob specifically, they didn’t just need to be born.

        It really is a complex subject in many ways.

  • http://twitter.com/Jackq7a Jack Woods

    For those of you who are saying that plural marriage was commanded, please show me where the saints were commanded to stop the practice. I can find no place anywhere in scripture where the saints were commanded by the Lord to stop practicing it. The mainfesto wasn’t a commandment, it was an opinion. 

    Even Wilford Woodruff continued to take on additional wives after the manifesto was issued, so did several other apostles. We can judge by Wilford Woodruff’s action that he didn’t consider it binding as a commandment. So if he didn’t consider to be a commandment, the one who issued it, then why should we? So tell me, where in scripture are we given a commandment to stop the practice of plural marriage? I really am looking for the answer, it sure would make my life easier if someone could help me out because plenty of scripture says I have to practice it or I will not be exalted. 

    • Anonymous

      Try Jacob 2: 27 in the Book of Mormon.

      • http://twitter.com/Jackq7a Jack Woods

        Yes, I know that scripture. And subsequent to Jacob 2:27 we have D&C 132 commanding us to practice it. In fact it told us that if we didn’t then we would be damned. That’s pretty serious and there should likewise be a commandment to stop it.  Where is the commandment to stop it? There is none…..Official Declaration isn’t a commandment to stop it.  

    • Colin Faux

      Jewish Kings (ie David) were not suppose to multiply wives Deuteronomy 17:17.  Religion in a lot of ways is about emphasis.  Many times there are scriptures on both sides of an issue, it takes your method of interpretation to decide how you’re going to understand what the divine intends for you.  I have polygamous blood, my Father’s Grandma was in an LDS polygamous relationship (after the Manifesto).  My Great Grandmother decided that polygamy was a practice that God wanted her to perform.  To some degree I have to appreciate polygamy, otherwise I would not be here.  However, I myself will not practice in this life.  Give me my Barbra, she is what I’ve been looking for my whole life.

    • David

      You’re claiming that Wilford Woodruff himself took on additional wives *after* The Manifesto? He issued it in 1890 when he was 83 years old. Do you have some evidence that he was still taking on additional wives at that point?

      The following section in the Church History in the Fulness of Times Student Manual is applicable.
      (see http://lds.org/manual/church-history-in-the-fulness-of-times-student-manual/chapter-thirty-four-an-era-of-reconciliation?lang=eng )

      Note in particular the third paragraph, where President George Q. Cannon is said to have challenged the Saints “that if their faith was tried because of the Manifesto, they must do as
      their leaders had done, which was to go to their Heavenly Father in
      prayer so they might have a testimony for themselves.” Jack, The Manifesto has been canonized in the LDS Church Standard Works as Official Declaration—1. That means it’s scripture as far as the LDS Church is concerned. If you don’t consider that sufficient to answer your question, then you’re going to have to do as President Cannon suggests and seek an answer directly from God.

      Now the quotation from the manual:

        General conference convened Saturday morning, 4 October 1890, and lasted three days. It was on the third day of the conference that President George Q. Cannon [First Counselor in the First Presidency] mentioned the Manifesto and then asked Orson F. Whitney, then bishop of the Salt Lake City 18th Ward, to read the document. President Lorenzo Snow then proposed that because the Saints recognized Wilford Woodruff as the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and as the one who held the sealing keys, that they support the Manifesto as it had been issued by him. The vote was unanimous.

        President Cannon then gave a lengthy discourse laying before the Saints the position of the Church concerning the doctrine of plural marriage. He explained that the Church had accepted plural marriage as a revelation from God binding upon them as a people and that they had endeavored to show that the law of 1862, which stopped the practice, was unconstitutional and in conflict with the First Amendment of the United States Constitution guaranteeing freedom of religion. He further testified that in this view they had been sustained by some of the best legal minds in the country. President Cannon reminded the Saints of the persecution they had endured, with upwards of thirteen hundred men in the Church having gone to prison as a result of their obedience to the commandment. Even with all the pressure from government leaders, as well as some members of the Church, they had obeyed the law of God until he sent the revelation directing that the practice of plural marriage be stopped.

        President Cannon concluded his remarks by testifying that the Manifesto was from God and was supported by the General Authorities. He challenged the Saints that if their faith was tried because of the Manifesto, they must do as their leaders had done, which was to go to their Heavenly Father in prayer so they might have a testimony for themselves.

        President Wilford Woodruff then closed the conference bearing testimony of the revelation that had come to him: “I want to say to all Israel that the step which I have taken in issuing this manifesto has not been done without earnest prayer before the Lord. I am about to go into the spirit world, like other men of my age. I expect to meet the face of my heavenly Father—the Father of my spirit; I expect to meet the face of Joseph Smith, of Brigham Young, of John Taylor, and of the apostles, and for me to have taken a stand in anything which is not pleasing in the sight of God, or before the heavens, I would rather have gone out and been shot. My life is no better than other men’s. I am not ignorant of the feelings that have been engendered through the course I have pursued. But I have done my duty, and the nation of which we form a part must be responsible for that which has been done in relation to this principle.” As President Woodruff closed his remarks, he made the following promise: “I say to Israel, the Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as president of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty.”

      • http://twitter.com/Jackq7a Jack Woods

        Ok David, again you went back to the Manifesto. Maybe you need to figure out what they meant instead of believing what leaders today tell you it meant. 

        1) In 1897, Wilford Woodruff married Madame Mountford, ie a plural marriage. :)

        2) George Q Cannon personally performed plural marriage ceremonies for three of his sons from 1892 onward. 

        Obviously, either these two men(that you quote) were fallen prophets……..by your own quote you say it is impossible, or there is a different meaning to the Manifesto than you understand. It is this line of thinking that caused me to go down a road. 

        I believe that the manifesto put the responsibility of the individual to practice plural marriage and it was no longer the responsibility of the church. Individual Free Agency is one of the most important parts of the gospel so it stands to reason that this is who it should progress. We are all personally responsible for our eternal progression.  

        It’s interesting to note that the Apostle John Taylor and others made clear that they believed the same. 

        In other words, David, you have the free agency to decide if you want exaltation or not. That is a choice you need to make for yourself, but please don’t prevent me from choosing exaltation………like the current LDS Church leadership wants to do….

        • Anonymous

          This explains a few issues you raise, particularly as to why plural marraige continued post Manifesto:

          http://lds.org/study/topics/polygamy-plural-marriage?lang=eng

          Your tone here has a lot of strain. You obviously don’t believe in plural marraige, and the church officially denounces its practice today…so why the frustration?

          • http://twitter.com/Jackq7a Jack Woods

            I do believe in plural marriage and believe, through study and prayer, that my family should practice it. I believe that it is, like D&C 132 states, necessary for exaltation. I wish it wasn’t so, but everything I have studied and prayed about has led me to the conclusion that it is. The strain you see is the internal conflict I  have. 

          • Anonymous

            Ah I see. I’m sorry I misread your wording. Well, that does make for a tough call, doesn’t it? I mean, it comes down to asking if you believe God uses a prophet and if the words he speaks are true. It comes down to are you willing to follow and trust those directives even if they cause conflict inside. Can God adapt the message he sends to coincide with changing times and situations? Polygamy now to build up the church, but once it becomes choice between the church existing (due to threats from the outside) and you having multiple wifes, which do you think God would choose? Like the cricket says, “Let your conscious be your guide” Jack.

          • David

            Jack,

            Thanks for the info; I quickly found two links with additional details on the only circumstantial evidence of Wilford Woodruff’s alleged 1897 marriage and how things “went down” at the time of the Manifesto:

            http://bycommonconsent.com/2004/11/05/madame-lydia-mary-olive-mamreov-von-finkelstein-mountford-and-interpreting-the-past/
            http://www.lds-mormon.com/second_manifesto.shtml

            I find it interesting, even fascinating to learn more of what such a society was like, both how people actually dealt with polygamy when it seems so foreign to us today, as well as how a society would deal with such a revolutionary change. It is actually not surprising to me that the “grinding to a halt” took some time, even among the leadership. Even something so apparently simple and straightforward as the Word of Wisdom had a transitional period. To me this doesn’t at all invalidate any revelations, it merely indicates that as we have always taught, our prophets are human and struggle just like we do. There’s a good reason that we don’t worship them, namely they are not perfect beings like our Lord Jesus Christ.

            I think the main issue is whether or not you believe in living prophets. You clearly believe in *modern* prophets since you have stated that you believe in revelations received by the prophet Joseph Smith. In the October 2010 General Conference, there were several talks given regarding the nature and authority of living prophets, which I recommend you check out:

            Obedience to the Prophets, by Claudio R. M. Costa of the Presidency of the Seventy
            http://lds.org/general-conference/2010/10/obedience-to-the-prophets?lang=eng

            Two Lines of Communication, by Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
            http://lds.org/general-conference/2010/10/two-lines-of-communication?lang=eng

            You believe that plural marriage is necessary for exaltation. That may or may not be true, but even if it is, it is clearly not something we of the present age need to worry about in this life. Why not? Because today’s living prophets are not telling us that message.

            If you don’t believe that today’s living prophets in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are correct in this, then logically they cannot actually be living prophets, as they would be leading people astray. But if they are not authorized living prophets, then they also are not authorized to hold the Priesthood of God, the very authority that is required to perform a valid plural marriage as taught by and received through Joseph Smith.

            If you believe that the authority was truly given to Joseph Smith but was lost by Wilford Woodruff when he allegedly “went apostate”, then you must believe that a “true” branch of the Church was broken off before that point which still contained God’s will regarding polygamy as well as the Priesthood authority to perform the same. If so, then you’re talking about a different Church. If not, then it’s too bad for us because although polygamy is absolutely required, there isn’t anyone authorized by God to perform the ceremony. Unless you believe that the only necessary part is that you have a civil marriage with multiple women completely separate from any ordinance instituted by God, which seems a bit illogical to me. And I might ask you for a specific scriptural reference on that.

            In the two talks I mentioned, a main idea is that what the living prophets are saying today is what you need to follow, not what Moses or Daniel or Isaiah or Peter or Paul or even Joseph Smith said. They delivered God’s message for their time, and Thomas S. Monson speaks for God today.

            If you don’t believe that Thomas S. Monson is God’s prophet on the earth today, then you have to accept the fact that you simply believe in a different Church. I don’t need to provide some scripture verse stating that “Polygamy is not currently commanded by God”, because of the simple facts that The Manifesto, regardless of its application and reception at the time, is now considered scripture, and today’s living prophet consistently teaches that to involve yourself in polygamy will result in excommunication.

            As I noted above, the Word of Wisdom similarly began as a suggestion, “not by commandment or constraint” (D&C 89:2 http://lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/89.2?lang=eng#1 ), but has since morphed into hard doctrine which will keep you out of the Temple if you don’t live by it. God doesn’t need to have us go back and erase that verse from our scriptures, he simply has a living prophet to tell us what we need to do *today*, regardless of what the scriptures previously said. Do you think that any Bishop would give you a temple recommend if you said to him, “yes I smoke tobacco and drink alcohol, but look here in D&C 89:2, it says it’s not a commandment”?

            I think you know that it doesn’t work that way. If you want to focus only on what previous, dead prophets have said, then by all means go ahead and believe whatever you feel is right. But as I said before, it’s simply a different Church that you’re talking about. Maybe one of the branches broken off the LDS Church fits your beliefs. Maybe your beliefs are unique in all the world. You have to figure things out for yourself, but you also have understand that the LDS Church has made it very clear how things work when you have a living prophet.

          • http://twitter.com/Jackq7a Jack Woods

            I am flabbergasted at what you have written, David, Simply flabbergasted. Such blind obedience goes against the doctrine of free will where we test what is told to us, test it against the scripture and personal revelation taught by our prophets. Now you are saying we can ignore that and quit thinking and just do what  Thomas S Monson says and all will be ok. 

            “Quit thinking for yourself, don’t ask question just do exactly what you are told to do” Isn’t that the doctrine of Satan? 

            Anyways, you said that this is about whether or not I believe in living prophets or not. I do believe in living prophets, I just don’t believe that Thomas S Monson is one of those living prophets. 

          • David

            Jack,

            You seem upset, and I’m sorry. I’m afraid that we’ll have to agree to disagree. I am honestly at a loss to understand how you are reaching such a conclusion. It is certainly in direct conflict with what I was trying to say as well as what was presented in the two talks I mentioned. Did you read them? I don’t understand how they or I said anything that could be construed as “blind obedience”. Even if you initially thought that was what *I* meant, the fact that those two talks so clearly speak of the importance of gaining a personal testimony must have indicated that you might be misunderstanding *my* words.

            As you are clearly familiar with the LDS Church, you must be aware that personal responsibility for one’s faith and testimony is a foundation principle in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is the reason that I believe in Jesus Christ, and it is the reason that I believe that Thomas S. Monson is His living prophet on the earth today.

            Blind obedience has no part in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and during my entire life growing up in the LDS Church, I have been consistently taught the exact opposite. I taught the same when I was a missionary, and in one of Andrew’s earlier posts this month, he himself discussed being taught this very principle early on by *his* missionaries (see http://projectconversion.com/?p=1164 ).

            You referred to the current leaders of the LDS Church, who LDS members sustain as Prophets, Seers, and Revelators, simply as “leaders today” and summarily dismissed their authority to provide the current generation with new information on what the Lord wants us to do *today*. They are the living prophets, so it doesn’t *matter* what Wilford Woodruff or Joseph Smith or anyone else “meant” at the time they were alive.

            This is the entire point of having living prophets. Did you miss the example I put forth regarding the Word of Wisdom and how its application changed over time? Would you have argued with Peter about bringing the gospel to the Gentiles, as it was also a completely revolutionary idea? (See Acts 10 http://lds.org/scriptures/nt/acts/10?lang=eng .)

            Does this mean that I should blindly follow “leaders today”? The LDS Church *still* teaches that every individual must find his or her own testimony of Jesus, The Book of Mormon, the Church, and even the living prophet.

            In an earlier reply to me, you stated “please don’t prevent me from choosing exaltation”. Who or what is preventing you from believing whatever you feel is right? How is the leadership of the LDS Church preventing you? How am I? Currently only 0.2% of the world’s population are members of the LDS Church, but I don’t feel like the world is preventing me from choosing exaltation simply because I have different beliefs than most people.

            This blog and the associated comments are simply discussing the beliefs and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this month, in which you have said you yourself do not believe. That’s fine, you believe in a different church or religious tradition. Your beliefs certainly provide an interesting perspective on the current discussion, as they also had their origins in the Prophet Joseph Smith.

            But misrepresenting my beliefs or the teachings of the religion under discussion is not helpful, and I submit that it is fundamentally inconsistent with the purpose of this blog as well as Andrew’s entire project as I understand it.

            To go back to your very initial question, you asked, “So if he [Wilford Woodruff] didn’t consider [the Manifesto] to be a commandment, the one who issued it, then why should we?” You put forth the idea that unless there was an actual scripture verse clearly stating this, then you believe that God has not rescinded the commandment.

            If that is your belief, again that’s fine, but the LDS Church has never taught that everything we need to do or not do must be codified in scripture. I point out once again that in this case, regardless of its original application or intent, The Manifesto *was* subsequently canonized into scripture by the Church, and living prophets *have* consistently taught against polygamy for *generations*. This method of revelatory leadership is consistent with LDS Church history as well as Judeo-Christian history as a whole and is *exactly* why anyone who believes that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet also believes that The Manifesto (ceasing the practice of polygamy) is (now) a commandment.

            If you do *not* believe that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet, as you have stated, then the point is moot, and you have answered your own question.

  • Cindy Opong

    “… if God and his wisdom is a universal constant, why change?” God’s wisdom is a constant, but why does that mean that there can’t be change? The spiritual laws don’t change – worship God, love others, don’t kill, don’t steal, etc. – basically the 10 commandments (each religion has some variation). But those relating to the social and cultural circumstances of the time do and must. Jesus himself set this precedence – he changed many laws of Moses (no work on the Sabbath comes to mind). Of course Abraham needed multiple wives – for a number of reasons this was needed at that time and place. But now? Times have changed and such religious laws need to change with us.

    • Anonymous

      You said the key phrase right there at the end. “Times have changed and such religious laws need to change with us.” What I find interesting is that religious law/thought doesn’t usually receive divine inspiration to change or adapt until after mankind has made the change first.

      • David

        I think in the case you’re speaking of, members of the Church were entirely willing to continue the practice of polygamy despite the US Government’s involvement, including imprisonment of its members, the disfranchisement of all property and possessions, and the dissolution of the Church as a legal entity. The Lord saw that His people were willing to make this sacrifice, and then said essentially, “It is enough,” and removed the requirement to continue the practice.

        The temporal salvation of the Church was apparently of higher value to the Lord than the practice of an eternal but not absolutely necessary principle. If the US Government had passed a law against performing baptisms, He might have had the Church continue the fight, as baptism is an essential ordinance of salvation.

  • EmiG

    I wish I had an answer that would clear up all your concerns, Tina, but frankly, it’s pretty hard for me to stomach as well.  It may not help, but I’d like to point out a few things.  First of all, in verse 61, the Lord stipulates that “the first [wife] give her consent” for her husband to marry another.  Whether this played out in practice with true free will and without coercion may very well have depended on the people involved, but the stipulation is there.

    As for the “destruction” aspect, it seems to me that it is directed to unfaithful spouses, those that break covenants and commit adultery.  In the context of these verses talking about polygamy, I believe the Lord is clarifying that this is not a free-for-all.  Having sexual relations with someone to whom you are married is not considered adultery.  Any person, male or female, who chooses to go outside the bonds of marriage for sexual relations would be committing adultery and “shall be destroyed” unless true remorse and repentance occurs.  In these verses the statement is gender specific, but there are numerous other places in scripture where adultery is harshly condemned regardless of which gender commits the sin (see Leviticus 20:10, Deuteronomy 22:22, 1 Corinthians 6:9, etc.).There are instances where women are sealed to more than one man, but to my knowledge they are done posthumously as part of genealogy or family history work.  For example, if your great-great-great-grandmother’s first husband died and she remarried, she could be sealed to both of those husbands by proxy.Going back to what I said in my guest post a while back, reconciling apparently contradictory beliefs is a constant struggle.  But I believe with all my heart that my Heavenly Parents love their sons and daughters equally and I keep coming back to that.  I don’t know why polygamy was commanded at that time or in Old Testament times or any other time – and it’s at the top of my (long) list of questions when I get to have a one-on-two chat with the Folks Upstairs – but I know that God is not unjust and I hold on to that.

  • Anonymous

    Tina, I’m glad you were able to find a place for your voice here. I’m also very proud that we have a community here that is willing and patient enough to share their thoughts and convictions with such maturity and care. It’s good to talk things out, and come together with an understanding–even if we disagree.

  • Blackbird

    Hi Tina, I’ve really appreciated your level headed comments and i can completely see where you are coming from.

    I think it’s important to understand just how highly regarded women are in the LDS church.  The verses provided here in D&C 132 are a mere slice of the entire picture. Here’s an excellent article that examines women’s roles in the LDS church, both now and through history:

    http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Conferences/2004_Place_of_Mormon_Women.html

    Whether or not you agree with the theology of the LDS church, i hope it helps you make a more informed decision on how LDS women fit in.

  • Pingback: Field Guide to Exploring Religion: - Project Conversion

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment S.C.

    Your Biblical references for “condoning” polygamy and such are used incorrectly. If you do a study on the instances where polygamy (which is basically adultery), etc… are committed, GOD never condoned such things in scripture. Period. Though, often, society “condoned” it. If you, in fact, do a deep study, you will easily find that those who committed acts of polygamy in scripture – especially the ones you mentioned, regarding Abraham & Sarah (Abram and Sarai) and Hagar, you will find where they were punished/disciplined/cursed by God because of their acts against Him. Nowhere in Scripture does God condone such things. Before using scripture references, I recommend doing much more in depth research, including exploring the scripture as a whole, taking it in context, and looking at the whole picture. Just because something happened and was written about in Scripture doesn’t mean God necessarily condoned it.

    • abowen

      Hello S.C., thanks for taking time to read the post.

      The interesting aspect of the Judao-Christian and Islamic scriptures is that we aren’t usually given a list of directions to follow so much as a narrative passage through a person or people’s interaction with their God. In this way, we see men and women falling into error and God creating avenues of escape or redemption for many problems. In the Abraham case, there is clearly a problem going on in the bedroom between himself and his wife Sarai. The passage I used showed how God was able to use such an unfortunate situation and transform it into the legacy of the nation of Israel. There are also many cases in the Bible where polygamy is so common that it is only mentioned in passing, where God appears more worried about the political/religious affairs of his people. Jacob, for example, had many wives and to my knowledge was never cursed but blessed for the children who came from these unions (Tribes of Israel). That great warrior Gideon and king Solomon also had many wives. Their problems were never directly correlated with how many wives they had, but with either one woman in particular or another character error. King David’s affair with his general’s wife produced not only a marriage (one of many) but a genetic line toward Jesus. In all these cases, God used a negative to create a possitive. As a Christian pastor and friend once told me on the issue, it isn’t that God particularly directs the use of plural marriage, but he doesn’t outright say it’s wrong either. In every faith that has, in its history, supported some idea of plural marriage, there were always guidelines. The Qur’an as well as the Doctrine and Covenants hold these guidelines. For the LDS church, once the need for polygamy ended (and a little pressure from the US gov.), God appears to remove the practice from the church.

  • http://www.originialbookofmormonrestored.com Previously blindly-obedient “elite” LDS ~ Kay Dee

    As an “honorary” LDS outsider, there is much for you to learn!

    The Book of Mormon states that polygamy is an ABOMINATION of the Lord, no matter who practices it…not even if it is King David and his son Solomon (Jacob 2:23-24) and the Nephites were destroyed because they practiced polygamy (Jacob 3). The Doctrine of Covenants warned Joseph Smith that if he followed “his own counsel and CARNAL DESIRES he would fall” and he used his position of spiritual power to justify polygamy much like Warren Jeffs has done (D&C 3:1-11).
    Also, D&C 132 which you quote from was politically added to justify polygamy by carnally-minded, fallible men in the late 1880s with section 101 altered due to its teachings of sanctified monogamy in line with the teachings of Christ!

    The Lord never sanctioned Abraham’s lying to the Prince regarding Sarah (said she was his sister due to his fear of man) or sexual use of Hagoth due to the lack of faith of Sarah!

    The Lord allows free agency and consequences will follow! Attempted murder and contempt followed Abraham’s adultery with Hagoth with Sarah and Hagoth hating each other. Through Hagoth’s posterity we have today the Muslims who hate Christians with resulting religious wars evident even today (9/11, etc.).

    The Book of Mormon also prophesies regarding the corruption of the LDS church (“the most great and abominable church” and its cleansing! (1st Nephi 13, 2 Nephi 28, 2 Nephi 3:24, etc.)

    I’m telling the truth as a concerned and knowledgeable Mormon. Here is a post that I posted elsewhere:

    As a truth-seeking and truth-telling Mormon who is aware of historical and present-day facts, all Americans need to know that all temple-going LDS members have taken a blood oath of loyalty to the church rather than to God or country. The penalty for disobedience of the oath was demonstrated prior to 1990 by slitting the throat, cutting out the heart and intestines as ways to “suffer my life to be taken” (actual LDS quote). After 1990, the penalty actions were removed but are still “assumed” today…

    This consecration of “time, talent, and all that you do possess to the building up of the kingdom” is serious and justifies LDS leaders to steal from wealthy members and, of course, all “gentiles”.

    The Mormon church is the “third most hated religion” in America (see blog article on BeliefNet) with good reason. Polygamy is still very much believed in with women as 2nd class citizens in Utah (can’t make it to Heaven without a man with the Priesthood) and practiced with temple “celestial sealings of men to many wives but not visa versa. The fruits of the belief in polygamy is seen with Utah having the highest rate of depression in the nation (U.S. Census 2004 to present) and the highest rate of online pornography subscription in America (2-9-2009 Salt Lake Tribune article) and pedophila searches. The “carnal desires” of men goes rampant when polygamy justifies lustful actions as seen with Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and Warren Jeffs…all men of power who “married” very young children and even wives of other men and justified it in the name of God.

    Interestingly, Joseph Smith was warned in LDS doctrine (Doctrine & Covenants 3:1-11) against “following his own will and carnal desires” or he would fall! Obviously, he did not heed this advise from God to the ridicule of the church throughout America.

    No, America needs to be aware that America is only ready for a Mormon President after the LDS church comes clean with its “abominable” history of polygamy (warned AGAINST in the Book of Mormon as seen in Jacob 2:23-24 and Jacob 3) and Satanic Masonry which requires a blood oath which Christ warned us against…”as it comes of evil”.

    Because I believe in the warnings and prophesies of the ORIGINAL Book of Mormon I’m telling the truth for the good of the LDS church!

    Read more: http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Christianity/Latter-Day-Saints/2007/05/Are-We-Ready-For-A-Mormon-President.aspx#ixzz1VLke11TJ